Rose building – the great exotic interior

This story begins with an old rose building on the riverside avenue of Vila Real de Santo António, a city located in the south of Portugal.

PROJECT: Mustard building
LOCATION: Vila Real de Santo António, Portugal
CLIENT: private
PROGRAM: refurbishment, extension and division in independent apartments of an heritage building
AREA: 678 m2
PROJECT STATUS: Built
DATE: 2018–2021
ARCHITECTURE: Aurora Architects + Furo
ARCHITECTURE TEAM: Sérgio Antunes, Sofia Reis Couto, Tânia Sousa, Carolina Rocha, Rui Baltazar, Ivo Lapa, Dora Jerbic, Anna Cavenago, Afonso Nunes, Kasia Cichecka +  António Louro, José Castro Caldas, Paula Vargas
BUILDING SUPERVISION: Iperplano
CONSTRUCTION: Francisco Rodrigues – Cervimat
PHOTOGRAPHY: do mal o menos
FURNITURE: a Linha da Vizinha and Takt

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The rose-house had a nice and rational facade, but the real treasure was inside. An exotic interior with details such as a mermaid painting in the ceiling of a bathroom, a multitude of patterned mosaics, detailed wooden doors and a big stone sink.

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It was obvious from the beginning that we should keep and emphasize the exotic interior. The program asked for the transformation of the layout from a single house to a five apartments building and gave us the perfect reason to create five different environments that play with site-specific idiosyncrasies of each space.

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A selection of colors and materials, combined with extensive architecture details preservation and the introduction of new contemporary elements, allowed us to create five flats with distinctive personalities, where each one is contributing to a general set that pays homage to the exotic qualities that we found in the original building.


Aurora Arquitectos

Founded in 2010 by Sofia Couto and Sérgio Antunes, the studio Aurora Arquitectos was the natural consequence of the work developed in the previous years. The journey began during the academic period, growing stronger with the professional experience with the Kaputt! collective.

Currently with a team broadened to other elements, the studio works on projects of a variety of scales, from small houses to multi-family residential buildings, as well as cultural facilities. Recently, the most developed theme is urban regeneration, which is the focus of the studio’s specialisation and research.

In its approach, it is particularly important the reaction to the site, what to do with the existing construction’s space and elements (sometimes, centuries old). The challenge is, therefore, to interpret, scrutinize, copy, distort and even ironize those raw materials, giving them back to the site in a new and unexpecting way.

Each case is overseen in an attentive and custom way, as to look for a distinct solution, that makes each project a singular experience. Considering the unravelled limitations (legal, budget, design brief or construction site constraints), the efforts go into unfolding the project’s key moments, the same moments that result into the built space, providing meaning to all the rest.

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